LEWISTON, Idaho – Senior Annie Kane scored a career-high 32 points, but it wasn’t enough for the Lewis-Clark State College women’s basketball team in its Frontier Conference opener on Saturday night. University of Great Falls freshman Erin Legel hit a layup with 30 seconds remaining to break a tie and hand the Argos a 79-76 win over the Warriors.
The victory lifts Great Falls to 10-3 overall and 1-0 in league play, while the Warriors dip to 3-11 and 0-1. It is the fifth time this season LCSC has lost by three points or less.
Kane, a guard from Lapwai, Idaho, scored 17 points in the second half on 8-of-9 shooting to help the Warriors overcome a 39-31 halftime deficit.
Lewis-Clark State tied the game three times during the final half, but was unable to take the lead. Kane tied it up at 49-49 with 12:36 remaining, but UGF’s Taylory Statton answered with a three. Six minutes later, Kane hit a free throw to tie it again at 65-65, but this time Sydnee Burke responded with a three.
The final tie came with 1:01 left in regulation when Tanis Fuller hit a shot in the paint to make it 74-74. The ensuing play was Legel’s drive to the basket, where she hit the shot, drew a foul, and made the free throw.
Kane hit a two on the following possession, but it proved to be too little too late.
Legel finished with a team-high 22 points and seven assists, while Lindsey Abramson added three blocks and a double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds.
LCSC’s Tanis Fuller also turned in a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds to go with three steals. Loree Hill was the only other Warrior to score in double-digits as she reached 12 points and had six boards.
The Warriors led with a 45.3 shooting percentage (40.9 percent for the Argos) despite making only 3-of-16 attempts from the outside. Great Falls was 12-for-28 from long range (42.9 percent).
Burke made five 3-pointers to finish with 17 points, and Legel and Statton made three shots from the outside apiece.
LCSC led 40-26 in points in the paint and 42-37 in total rebounds, but the Argos made their 15 offensive rebounds count and finished with a 20-12 advantage in second chance points.
The Warriors were still without the services of 6-foot-2 post player Ornela Bacchini, who is sidelined with an ankle injury. Also on the injury front, point guard Brittaney Niebergall, who missed eight games earlier this year because of an injury, made her fifth straight appearance on Saturday. The sophomore, who will probably be forced to wear a leg brace for the remainder of the season, added eight points and eight assists.
Lewis-Clark State will host Montana Tech next Saturday.